Aug 31, 2023
In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, Melina Palmer interviews Andrea Learned, a climate communications strategist and host of the Living Change Podcast, on the topic of building a leadership platform and personal brand for influence. Melina and Andrea discuss the importance of being authentic and engaging on social media to attract media attention and build trust with others.
They emphasize the value of showcasing expertise and being seen doing the things you promote, as it builds credibility and inspires others to take similar actions. The conversation also highlights the power of aligning personal brand with initiatives and causes that align with one's values. Overall, the episode emphasizes the need for leaders to be visible and engaged on social media platforms to have influence and make an impact.
In this episode:
00:00:00 - Introduction,
Melina introduces Andrea Learned, host of the Living Change podcast, and shares how they connected through a post Melina shared on LinkedIn asking for suggestions from fans for potential podcast episode topics. They discuss the importance of influence and how it can be applied to climate change and other causes.
00:03:47 - Building Climate Influence,
Andrea shares her expertise in climate influence and how she helps leaders in the clean energy, food systems, transportation, and policy sectors leverage their platforms to drive scalable climate action. She emphasizes the importance of being visible and accessible on social media to gain influence and attract media coverage.
00:08:55 - Leveraging Leader's Influence,
Andrea discusses the power of leaders in driving climate influence and how their engagement on platforms like LinkedIn can differentiate them from competitors and amplify their brand's messaging. She emphasizes the need for brands to support and empower their leaders to build their influence.
00:11:49 - Nudging Behavior Change,
Melina and Andrea explore the role of influence in behavior change and pitching ideas. They discuss the importance of making it easy for others to follow your influence and how leaders who are visible and engaged can create a path for media and other stakeholders to follow.
00:13:29 - Media Pitching and Visibility,
Melina and Andrea highlight the benefits of having a visible leader in media pitching efforts. They discuss how a leader's visibility and engagement on social media can make it easier for the media to identify the right person to pitch and provide a blueprint for their expertise and messaging.
00:15:19 - Importance of Building a Leadership
Building a leadership platform for your sector allows you to have a warmer and more interesting conversation with the media. It also gives you social capital that you can carry with you wherever you go, even beyond your current organization.
00:17:24 - Importance of Media Training and Polished
Media training and being able to communicate in good sound bites are valuable for building influence. It is important to align your personal brand with your organization's initiatives and show that you can be a polished spokesperson.
00:18:35 - Being Seen Doing the Things You Advocate
It is important to be seen doing the things you are advocating for. Andrea shares real-world examples of leaders and influencers riding bikes, going plant-based, or taking other actions that align with their message. These actions influence others and encourage them to follow suit.
00:24:54 - The Power of Vulnerability and Building
Being willing to be visibly vulnerable helps build trust with others. Taking the first step and showing you are on a journey, even if you are not perfect, encourages others to be braver and join in the cause.
00:26:47 - Examples of Influential Leaders,
Examples of influential leaders include Malala who advocated for girls' education and Jane Goodall who used her work with chimpanzees to raise awareness about climate change and poverty. These leaders align their personal brand with their cause and use their influence to make a difference.
00:30:51 - The Impact of Consumer Recommendations on
Andrea discusses the importance of being aware of the impact our consumer recommendations have on the planet. She emphasizes that if we claim to care about the environment, we should consider the items we recommend or use, as they can influence others to emulate our behavior.
00:31:52 - The Power of Conversion Storytelling,
Melina and Andrea explain that conversion stories, where someone makes a significant change in their behavior, can be incredibly powerful in influencing others. Stories of personal transformation, such as transitioning from meat-eating to a plant-based diet or switching from driving a big truck to riding a bike, can have a strong impact on inspiring change.
00:33:34 - Seeing Yourself in the Story,
Melina highlights the importance of seeing oneself in a story to overcome resistance to change. By sharing relatable stories of individuals who have made similar changes, it becomes easier for others to envision themselves making similar shifts in their behavior. This can lead to increased motivation and action.
00:34:49 - Making Change Accessible,
Consider making change accessible by setting short-term challenges or goals. For example, committing to meatless Mondays for a month or riding a bike for short trips three days a week. By breaking change into manageable steps, it becomes less overwhelming and more likely to be adopted.
00:39:43 - Influencing Others through Personal
Andrea discusses the power of personal expression in influencing others. Sharing stories of personal journeys, like Mark Marin's, for example.
00:44:41 - Leveraging LinkedIn for Influence,
Melina discusses the strategy of posing things as questions on LinkedIn to invite engagement and leverage social proof. Asking questions and opening up conversations is a powerful way to pull in more people and increase influence.
00:45:11 - Walking as a Form of Leisure and
Melina shares her recent experience of going on a three-hour walk to the farmers market and running errands along the way. Walking is a preferred activity for her and her husband, and they enjoy the combination of leisure and productivity.
00:46:21 - Tips for Subtle Influence,
Be brave enough to contribute and add value, even if it's not broadcasted. Engaging in social media comments and gradually becoming comfortable with sharing ideas and opinions can lead to a bigger platform and influence in the long run.
00:47:26 - Conclusion,
Melina's top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media -- you'll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.
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